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>> thank you one, two, three, four. ♪ ♪
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>> this is called rah, rah, rah
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(applause). >> thanks everybody. make sure you come even when there is not a band here. ♪
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charles bennett's high school dream was to teach in the old neighborhood. but without the money for college, all he got was the old neighborhood. support the united negro college fund. a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
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>> coming up on "california country," meet some of the folks responsible for adding a little zest to our lives. then, what a chef wants, this man will find. tag along with us as we go on a produce pursuit in northern california. then, meet a farmer
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who is surrounded by his favorite things--his berries and his brothers. finally, think starting a vegetable garden is hard? our expert has advice to get you started and on your way to a homegrown meal in no time. it's all ahead, and it starts now. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> so we all know that california is king when it comes to growing citrus. and when it comes to growing lemons, no one is bigger than this ventura county farm. and with over 7,000 acres of lush lemon trees, limoneira isn't just the biggest lemon grower in california, but in all of north america. based in santa paula, the farm is a testament to what hard work and determination can do. foundi fathers nathan blanchard and wallace hardison
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first bought the land way back in 1893 and named the ranch limoneira, which means "lemon lands" in portuguese. >> and at the time, they wanted to bring about the first full-scale commercial operation citrus ranch in the u.s. and from there, we added, throughout the years, over the last 115-16 years, 3 other families have come into the fold, and that's where we've grown today to be our 7,000 acres that we are in california. >> once called the home of the lemon, it actually took 15 years before those first farmers ev turned a profit at the limoneira farm. but they persevered, and as they say, they've come a long way, baby. things have obviously changed a lot over the years, but one thing that hasn't changed is the desire to explore innovative programs. the farm invests a lot of time, research, and investment into improving lemon production through innovation. in 2008, they completed work on a solar panel project that stretches across nearly 5 acres
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and can help to power their lemon storage facility and packing house. and despite being the oldest continuously run citrus packing operation in north america, it actually is pretty state-of-the-art these days. >> basically, what we're looking at here is the camera system that basically takes a picture of each piece of fruit. then what happens is that it can tell, basically, its color, its size, and then how much blemish might be on that lemon itself. >> and whatever isn't deemed of the highest and best quality is then removed and sold to be used as lemon-scented cleaners, air fresheners, or candles. so what's the key to growing a great lemon for all of these years? as it turns out, location, location, location. >> lemons are very temperamental with the weather, just like we are, as a matter of fact. in fact, they enjoy the beautiful weather that we do. they're able to flower year-round, and that's why we can get such great production off these smaller trees. they're relatively small trees. and so, we're in
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a perfect scenario between not too hot, not too cold. we're a bit of the goldilocks of the citrus growing area. >> california is the number one state for producing lemons, and limoneira farmers account for nearly 13% of the state's total lemon production. so what do you do with all those lemons? well, you make lemonade, of course, but with a twist. the dictionary describes lemons simply as a yellowish, acid fruit of a subtropical citrus tree. but for ryan seng of grange bar and restaurant in downtown sacramento, lemons are oh, so much more. >> it's one of those staples. it's one of those foundations of a decent bar is they use a lot of lemons. even--you'll see, you know, you're making limoncello or some kind of infusion in the back. you'll use just the rind, or you're making a syrup with it. but then, you have the lemon leftovers. you can juice it so you get 2 uses out of it. >> they are the main ingredient for several of his specialty drinks on the menu, including
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a pink lemon margarita. but he's not alone in adding a little zest to his menu. over at rick's dessert diner in sacramento, you know right away this place is special. from the funky exterior to the gigantic cakes that greet you when you walk in, this place is a hit. >> well, we come about once a week, and it's just the freshest desserts. everything is so good here. we moved to sacramento about 2 years ago, and we saw the bright pink building, and we're like, "ok, we have to check that out." and since then, i've been completely hooked. like, have to come and get my fix. [laughs] >> we do desserts the original way, out of scratch, homemade style, and we have the best ingredients, in our case. we don't compromise the price for the quality of desserts. and we have been number one for 22 years in a row. and the reason for that is the hard
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work and using the best ingredients. and freshness is most important to me. >> they do make desserts look like a piece of cake to prepare here. and with almost 300 delicious items on the menu, it's hard to choose a favorite. while chocolate is tops, lemon-based pastries are a close second. and when it comes to making those citrus-based delights, they do have their own special standards here. >> if it's not freshly squeezed, it's not lemon. they are important, because if i don't get fresh lemon, i will not have a good-tasting cake. >> ahmed says they use more than 20 pounds of fresh california lemons each week in everything from lemon bars to the rich and gooey lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. mmm! so, the next time you indulge in a lemon meringue pie or sip some lemonade, pay tribute to california lemons. after all, being a little bitter really never tasted so sweet, right? for "california country," i'm tracy sellers.
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>> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide family of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance. on your side. from farm to feast. stay tuned for more of the tempting tastes of california.
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>> welcome back to "california country," the show that takes you on an all-expense-paid trip to experience the best-kept secrets of the golden state. >> oh, we got some more spinach. so that's in watsonville. here, we have some romaine lettuce from salinas. >> for jim mills, life is quite simply all about produce, and every day, his sacramento warehouse receives tons of it from just about every region in the golden state. >> broccoli from salinas. over here, some artichokes from watsonville and castroville. fennel from a local farm over in yolo. >> but the bulk of this produce doesn't stay here very long. within a few hours, much of it is trucked out to restaurants and businesses in northern california, some delivered by mills himself. he spends hours
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on the road, visiting farmers and chefs, taking produce from one to the other, and educating both parties along the way. >> may need a look at the progress of a particular crop or report back, maybe some feedback, to the farmer about how the chefs are using it or what they might be looking for in the near future. >> in many ways, produce express and people like jim mills are the link between 1,300 different restaurants in northern california and produce from all over the golden state. today's visit took us to del rio botanical farm in yolo county, where suzanne peabody ashworth was keen to get restaurants to start trying the fresh fava beans and greens she's growing. >> so we'll take some of these greens into a couple of restaurants this morning and see what the chefs want to do with them. in sacramento, there's
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been an explosion of restaurants over the past 4 cr 5 years in our capital. again, sacramento, california, agriculture, fruits and vegetables--there's a very nice link there and the interest that my customers have in this produce. >> we call at 5:30 in the morning and get the normal order, and then, along about 7:30, we get the emergency orders. and if the phone doesn't ring between 7:30 and 8:30, it's a really wonderful day. but if it rings around 7:30 or 7:45, we then have to hustle around and make sure that we have enough for jim, who's always early and picking it up and getting it out to the restaurants real quick. [indistinct talking] >> so we've got salad greens today, fava greens. >> her fava beans and boxes of her braise mix were eagerly received at the magpie caterers marketing cafe in sacramento. chef ed roehr wasted no time
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turning them into a delicious dish. >> jim's been a great help in us for learning what we can get in the area and how we can get those items here. well, without a connection to the food, you know, i think when you're trying to make food as close to the farm to table as possible-- we are busy, our calendar is busy all the time, and the reality of the matter is is as a chef of a place like this, i don't even have a lot of time to cook. it's almost--there's so much going on, and having somebody that you can depend on and somebody you can trust, that gives us the confidence to go out to our clients and our guests here in the cafe and say, you know, "this is what we told you it was. this is from here. and this is where it comes from." and that's a big deal. information is a big deal. >> the restaurant has an extremely busy kitchen. but to mills, who's in his sixties, it's like home from home. he knows about the stresses chefs face, since he used to be one.
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for 14 years, he was the head chef for randy parygary restaurants in sacramento. today, he's traded in his chef's hat to promote, educate, and even celebrate produce with other chefs. >> i use email. i use the phone. but the best thing to do is to be able to go into a restaurant, to go into the kitchen, to find the person cooking the food, and say, "hey, what can i get you? what are you looking for?" >> i would just be doing seed production if it weren't for jim driving in here and refusing to drive away and saying, "no, i really want this stuff. no, ycu don't understand, i really do want to buy this stuff." and "i really want this, and i really want it now, and i really want some, and i want samples," and you know, so forth and so on despite my best efforts to get rid of him. >> as chef michael tuohy starts preparing meals with the greens, he admits his job would be so much more difficult if it were not for produce experts like jim mills. >> jim fills a need here that nobody else does, and that is he--his company and him,

September 6, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY California 12, Sacramento 7, Northern California 3, Rah 2, Us 2, North America 2, Yolo 2, Salinas 2, Watsonville 2, Fava 1, Wallace Hardison 1, Jim Mills 1, Limoncello 1, Limoneira Farm 1, Margarita 1, Bennett 1, United Negro 1, Limoneira 1, Ycu 1, Michael Tuohy 1
Network SFGTV2
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color